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Warm and friendly reception for FCB in Doha

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Warm and friendly reception for FCB in Doha

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:30 pm

After a 12-day holiday season break, the Bayern players reconvened at Munich airport on Monday morning. The stars, kitted out in red tracksuits, appeared a trifle sleepy but still refreshed and relaxed ahead of the 9 am Lufthansa charter departure for Qatar. Some five hours later, at 4 pm local time, the squad emerged into the 20-degree warmth of Doha, ready for seven days of demanding training ahead of the second half of the 2011/12 campaign.

A warm and heartfelt welcome awaited the party from Germany's biggest club. The players, coaching staff and delegation chief, director of sport Christian Nerlinger, walked the short distance from the aircraft to the terminal building, where they were greeted by a reception committee handing out bouquets of flowers. Arjen Robben was immediately surrounded by fans seeking souvenir snaps and autographs, and by the local media in search of tomorrow's headlines.

The group then boarded a shuttle bus for the 30-minute transfer to The Grand Heritage, a Victorian-themed hotel which first opened for business last year. From their rooms, the players look out over the vast expanse of the ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellence. The FCB bus was met by tanned trio Mario Gomez, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Takashi Usami, who travelled direct to Doha from vacation, Gomez in fact arriving a day early on Sunday evening.

"The weather is perfect and the pitches are outstanding," Philipp Lahm said ahead of the morning departure, "it's a great place to prepare for the rest of the season." Bastian Schweinsteiger agreed with the club captain: "The conditions are ideal. It's vital we put in good work in Doha and lay the foundations for the rest of the campaign. It's specially important when you have as many games as we do."

Rafinha and Luiz Gustavo due Tuesday

The first workout of the training camp then took place in the evening as planned, although the start of the session was delayed by around two hours, due to a problem retrieving the players' baggage from the airport. The stars finally took to the floodlit pitch at 8.20 pm local time, completing a light session of passing and shooting, followed by a practice match. The mood was light-hearted, although there was no mistaking the focus and determination on the players' faces.

The squad will finally be complete on Tuesday morning, when Brazilian pair Rafinha and Luiz Gustavo arrive in time for the second scheduled workout of the week.
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